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HomeTopics 5SIEM - SOAR - UBA - UEBAThe Coverage Gap: Why 81% of MITRE ATT&CK Tactics Leave Businesses Vulnerable

The Coverage Gap: Why 81% of MITRE ATT&CK Tactics Leave Businesses Vulnerable


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Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) systems are a cornerstone of modern cybersecurity defense. However, a recent report by CardinalOps paints a concerning picture: only 19% of MITRE ATT&CK tactics are effectively covered by traditional SIEMs. This significant coverage gap leaves organizations vulnerable to a vast array of cyberattacks. Let’s delve into the details of this report, explore the reasons behind this gap, and offer recommendations for fortifying your security posture beyond SIEM limitations.

MITRE ATT&CK: A Framework for Adversary Tactics

The MITRE ATT&CK framework serves as a comprehensive knowledge base cataloging real-world attacker tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs). By understanding these TTPs, defenders can develop more effective detection and response strategies. Here’s how the framework is structured:

  • Tactics: Represent the high-level goals attackers aim to achieve during a cyber intrusion, such as “Initial Access” or “Defense Evasion.”
  • Techniques: Detail the specific methods attackers use to accomplish each tactic, such as exploiting vulnerabilities or using phishing emails.
  • Procedures: Describe the specific tools and code attackers might utilize within a technique.

The Coverage Gap: Why SIEMs Fall Short

CardinalOps’ report reveals a critical gap in SIEM capabilities. Here’s why traditional SIEMs struggle to detect a significant portion of MITRE ATT&CK tactics:

  • Limited Data Correlation: SIEMs often rely on pre-configured rules and struggle to effectively correlate disparate data sources for anomaly detection.
  • Focus on Known Threats: Traditional SIEMs are primarily designed to detect known threats based on predefined signatures, leaving them vulnerable to novel attack techniques.
  • Lack of Advanced Analytics: Many SIEMs lack the advanced analytics capabilities needed to identify subtle changes in behavior that might indicate an ongoing attack.
  • Data Overload: The sheer volume of data generated by modern IT systems can overwhelm SIEMs, hindering their ability to detect relevant security events.

The Consequences: Businesses Left Exposed

The limited coverage of MITRE ATT&CK tactics by SIEMs leaves organizations vulnerable to a wide range of cyberattacks. Here’s how this gap can be exploited:

  • Evasion of Detection: Advanced attackers can leverage techniques not covered by SIEMs to remain undetected while compromising systems.
  • Increased Dwelling Time: Undiscovered attackers can operate undetected within a network for extended periods, maximizing potential damage.
  • Targeted Attacks: Sophisticated attackers can tailor their tactics to exploit specific vulnerabilities not addressed by an organization’s SIEM rules.

10 Recommendations for Enhanced Detection and Response

While SIEMs remain a valuable tool, relying solely on them leaves a significant security gap. Here are 10 recommendations for fortifying your security posture beyond SIEM limitations:

  1. Utilize Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR): EDR solutions go beyond log analysis, providing deeper visibility into endpoint activity for enhanced detection of malicious behavior.
  2. Threat Intelligence Integration: Integrate threat intelligence feeds with your SIEM to gain insights into emerging threats and adjust detection rules accordingly.
  3. Focus on User Behavior Analytics (UBA): Implement UBA solutions to identify anomalies in user behavior that might indicate compromised accounts or insider threats.
  4. Network Traffic Analysis (NTA): NTA tools can provide valuable insights into network communications, potentially revealing malicious activity not reflected in traditional logs.
  5. Security Orchestration, Automation, and Response (SOAR): SOAR platforms can automate routine tasks and streamline your security operations, allowing analysts to focus on high-priority threats.
  6. Invest in Security Awareness Training: Empower employees to identify phishing attempts and other social engineering tactics, a crucial first line of defense.
  7. Conduct Regular Penetration Testing: Regular penetration testing helps identify vulnerabilities before attackers can exploit them.
  8. Implement Segmentation: Segmenting your network can limit the lateral movement of attackers within your system, minimizing potential damage.
  9. Maintain Patch Management: Regularly patching vulnerabilities within your systems is critical to prevent attackers from exploiting known weaknesses.
  10. Incident Response Planning and Testing: Develop a comprehensive incident response plan and conduct regular testing to ensure your team is prepared to effectively respond to cyberattacks.

Conclusion: A Layered Approach for Comprehensive Defense

The limited coverage of MITRE ATT&CK tactics by SIEMs highlights the need for a layered security approach. Utilizing a combination of SIEM, EDR, UBA, NTA, and other advanced security tools can provide a more comprehensive view of your security posture. Furthermore, prioritizing threat intelligence, user awareness training, and incident response preparedness are crucial for proactive defense.

By acknowledging the limitations of SIEMs and implementing a multi-layered security strategy, organizations can significantly improve their ability to detect and respond to a wider range of cyberattacks. Remember, cybersecurity is an ongoing process, not a one-time fix. Regularly evaluate your security posture, adapt your strategies based on evolving threats, and invest in continuous learning for your security team.

Let’s work together to bridge the coverage gap and ensure that advanced attackers don’t find a safe haven within your systems. By prioritizing proactive defense, collaboration, and a commitment to continuous improvement, we can build a more resilient security posture against the ever-present threat of cyberattacks.

Ouaissou DEMBELE
Ouaissou DEMBELEhttps://cybercory.com
Ouaissou DEMBELE is an accomplished cybersecurity professional and the Editor-In-Chief of cybercory.com. He has over 10 years of experience in the field, with a particular focus on Ethical Hacking, Data Security & GRC. Currently, Ouaissou serves as the Co-founder & Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) at Saintynet, a leading provider of IT solutions and services. In this role, he is responsible for managing the company's cybersecurity strategy, ensuring compliance with relevant regulations, and identifying and mitigating potential threats, as well as helping the company customers for better & long term cybersecurity strategy. Prior to his work at Saintynet, Ouaissou held various positions in the IT industry, including as a consultant. He has also served as a speaker and trainer at industry conferences and events, sharing his expertise and insights with fellow professionals. Ouaissou holds a number of certifications in cybersecurity, including the Cisco Certified Network Professional - Security (CCNP Security) and the Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH), ITIL. With his wealth of experience and knowledge, Ouaissou is a valuable member of the cybercory team and a trusted advisor to clients seeking to enhance their cybersecurity posture.


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